Is Drug Testing Being Abused for Personal Gain?

More and more today, drug testing has become quite common in the workplace. However, many people wonder if this practice is being abused. They wonder if the benefits really outweigh the disadvantages. Here, we are going to examine the pros and cons of drug tests and what they can do for businesses.

Maintaining a Safe Workplace

Administering drug tests in the workplace can make the work environment safer for both employees and customers. There are many industries that absolutely must maintain a safe workplace and can benefit from regular drug test programs. Additionally, these programs can increase the morale and productivity of employees as well.

Statistics show that when employees use drug and alcohol while they are working, there is an increased risk of injuries and accidents in the workplace. Additionally, industries that require their employees to drive have an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Thus, it is the responsibility of managers to ensure the safety of their employees and any bystanders.

Meeting Legal Obligations

For many industries, implementing a drug test program is mandatory, and if employers do not conduct drug tests, they can face heavy fines. This is especially true with professions in the transportation industry such as truck drivers, bus drivers, pilots, subway drivers and those who operate ships.

Additionally, people who work in medical fields must adhere to drug tests due to health and safety regulations. This includes such professions as nurses, nurses’ aids, dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, doctors, EMTs, pharmacists and pharmacist assistants.

Offering Help With Drug Abuse Problems

Businesses that implement drug testing programs place themselves in a strong position to help employees whom they suspect of having substance abuse problems. While many people may think that employers simply eliminate employees or applicants with abuse problems, this is not always the case. In some cases, employees can be helped through drug abuse programs.

Invading Employees’ Privacy

In addition to the many advantages of drug tests in the workplace, there are some disadvantages as well. One of these disadvantages is that many people think that drug tests invade the privacy of employees and applicants. Some people think it is discriminatory, especially when there is no obvious reason to request a test.

There have been cases of employees losing their jobs due to occasional drug use. Many of these employees were highly productive and reliable individuals. This is the reason that there is controversy pertaining to the use of drug tests in the workplace. Drug tests not only pinpoint abusers, but they pinpoint occasional users as well.

Breaking Trust

When drug test programs are not implemented properly, there can be many negative results. For one thing, distrust can grow among employees. Employees can begin to think that no matter what they do, their bosses will not trust them. This can lead to low morale and productivity, which is the complete opposite of what employers wish to gain.

This can be avoided by implementing these programs correctly. Businesses need to be aware of both the pros and cons of drug tests so that they will obtain the results that they desire. They want to avoid any negative feelings within the company as it can create even more problems.

Plan Accordingly

All businesses are different. As such, they will need to implement a drug testing program that best suits their needs. However, it is always best to conduct tests on all applicants and regular tests on existing employees when necessary. While there is much controversy surrounding drug tests in the workplace, they remain as the most effective way to obtain a drug free work environment today.